John Cottam’s

5” gauge LNER P2 2-8-0


This LNER P2 locomotive in 5” gauge by John Cottam was one of the eye-catchers at Harrogate 2014. It is to a design by Michael Breeze, aided by photographs from the Gresley Society and information from the National Railway Museum. This model of Wolf of Badenoch occupied some 8000 workshop hours for John. It was inspired by a calendar.

There weren’t many steam locomotives built with the Mikado 2-8-2 wheel arrangement. Although the LNER class P2 were magnificent, only six were built (or we should say have been built to date!). Sir Nigel Gresley was the designer for the engines which were built between 1934 and 1936. Destined to work as Scottish expresses from London to Aberdeen, they were given famous names from Scottish lore. No 2006 was named Wolf of Badenoch.

The locomotives had many advanced features and the first engine was fitted with rotary cam actuated poppet valve gear and double-chimney exhaust. The boiler was basically the Gresley Pacifics design fitted with a larger firebox and the iconic front end design used on the experimental 10,000 ‘Hush Hush’ locomotive. later engines were controlled by Walschaerts valve gear and piston valves.

The P2 locos were rebuilt as Class A2/2 Pacifics by Thompson in 1943/4.

The team that built the new Pacific Tornado loco are building a new P2. The locomotive shares 70% of parts with Tornado including the boiler and tender. Modern modifications to the original design will include roller bearings (also featured on Tornado) and an all-welded, all-steel boiler. The final build may utilise Caprotti valve gear rather than the Lentz or Walchaerts types fitted to the originals. In most other respects and appearance No.2007 will match that of No.2001 Cock o' the North.

On November 14, 2013 the P2 Steam Locomotive Company announced that the name of its new P2 would be ‘Prince of Wales’, in honour of the Prince of Wales' 65th birthday. Construction began in May 2014 with the locomotives's frames being cut at Tata Steel in Scunthorpe.

Estimated cost: £5m.